Charlie Hebdo.. Is It Really About Freedom of Speech?

In 2015, a horrific attack happened at the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. The attack came after Charlie Hebdo published the cartoons that blasphemed Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Five years later, the trial is beginning and the magazine has decided to republish the cartoons, reopening a wound that was about to heal. 

When reporters asked French President Emmanuel Macron to give a statement regarding this decision, he replied that French people have the freedom of speech, which includes criticizing political figures and blasphemy.

The philosophical side of freedom of speech

It makes complete sense why freedom of speech is so important. We have seen in many countries that don’t have the freedom of speech; and how it oppresses people and opens the door to dictatorships. 

But, what about my freedom to live peacefully? Shouldn’t I be able to take a walk, shop, or just be out with my family without worrying about someone approaching me with insults about my religion, the color of my skin, or my family? Is my right to live a peaceful, unoffended life less important than someone’s freedom of speech?

The legal side of Freedom of Speech

Although freedom of speech sounds cut and dry, no country in the world has 100% freedom of speech legality. 

For instance, in the USA, a young woman was sentenced to prison after sending thousands of text messages to her boyfriend encouraging him to kill himself. Unfortunately, he did. She did not murder him. She didn’t do any physical action but her speech ultimately led to a young man ending his life. Freedom of speech wasn’t applied here.

Also, did you know that in Europe, if you were to speak about the Holocaust not happening, you can find yourself in prison for 5 years? Granted it’s a very sore topic, as over 5 million people were murdered during the Holocaust, but again, what about freedom of speech?

It seems as though freedom of speech mostly applies when a person or people are insulting Islam; and it’s nearly 2 billion followers.

Join Dr. Yasir Qadhi as he talks about what’s really going on when politicians use the ‘freedom-of-speech’ card. He also elaborates on how we can change the narrative moving forward.


Source: Dr. Yasir Qadhi Channel